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Seventy-five years ago this week, on February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 directing the relocation of all people of Japanese descent on the West Coast, including U.S. citizens, to inland camps. The internment uprooted thousands of Washington residents across the state, from Bainbridge Island to Seattle, to the YakimaValley, to Spokane.
On February 18, 1943, a horrific plane
crash occurred in Seattle when a strange-looking aircraft plummeted into the Frye Meatpacking plant north of Boeing field. Eleven crewmembers died along with 19 workers on the ground, and in the resulting fire much of the plant's livestock was killed. Although the event could not be concealed, military police quarantined the scene and censored press reports, for this plane was the top-secret prototype of the famed B-29
Superfortress that two years later would drop the first atomic bombs and end World War II.
On February 21, 1989, Neil Young and his band gave the first live performance of "Rockin' in the Free World," at Seattle's Paramount Theatre. The song was composed as a rebuke to the new administration of President George H. W. Bush, but later became associated with the disintegration of the Soviet Union after the breaching of the Berlin Wall.
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.